Welcome December!! I cannot believe it is already the start to a new month and the last one of 2014. Though the year is flying by it is time for Coach Mar’s “Running Tip of the Month” and for December it is all about Motivation.
As a runner the winter months typically bring about the off season. Much of our early spring and summer mornings culminate into fall goal races. For quite a few winter doesn’t mean the running stops. There are Turkey Trots, Jingle Runs and Commitment Day races to be had. And while these events are often done in the spirit of the season or for fun, on the other side of winter there lies a fresh set of running goals.
Staying motivated during the shorter days, colder weather, stormy conditions and icy roads can be difficult. For this month’s running tip here are a few ways to get and stay motivated to run in the winter (and while my focus in this monthly series is running, these can be applied directly or indirectly to fitness in general.)
Sign up for a spring race. That is, if you haven’t already! I am scheduled to run Shamrock in Virginia Beach in March with my 12 week training plan starting at the end of December. Having this race scheduled and confirmed with a sub-2 hour goal attached will keep me focused to get my training runs in on those days when snuggling up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and a fleece blanket are most appealing.
Don’t dread the treadmill. I know people refer to it as the “dreadmill” but I’m not one of them. My preference is always the outdoors but if that isn’t feasible or I don’t want to deal with a million layers, I have no problem hopping on the treadmill. If you change your mindset a bit running on it won’t seem so daunting. Download a podcast, watch a TV show, movie, or comedy special to break up the stationary effect of running.
Buy something pretty. Just me? Ok… I always treat myself in the winter by investing in one nice cold gear item. Last year I bought a new pair of Under Armour fleece lined tights – perfect for staying warm and dry on those especially crispy days. Places like Target, Old Navy and Gap always have nice and reasonably priced cold weather gear too. For me, anything with thumb holes is an automatic favorite. 😉
Set a small goal. Has your big goal race come and gone? There are other running and fitness related goals you can set to keep you going so use this time to try something new. Always wanted to dress up in jingle bells and don a Santa hat? Sign up for a themed race! Want to get better at yoga? Winter is perfect for keeping warm with hot yoga! Runners World currently has a Run Streak challenge going on. The possibilities here are really endless.
Put your workouts on the calendar. Since signing up with ClassPass I will sometimes schedule 2-3 workouts in advance to ensure I get into a limited enrollment class. I place them on my Outlook calendar so I don’t forget. My aforementioned training plan for Shamrock is already listed on my schedule.
Join a running club. I did this a year ago when training for a March marathon. Having other people going through the same experience with me (namely dressing up and running 2+ hours in -8 degree weather) was such a huge benefit. We could support, celebrate, and commiserate with each other. The social aspect is also immeasurable!
Who has a spring race on the calendar already? What are some of your upcoming running goals? What do you think of thumb holes? 🙂